1. Computing

How To Write Web Content

How To Write For Searchers

By

Compelling content on your website is the essential key to attracting more searchers to your site - but not only more searchers, more relevant searchers who are actually looking for what you're offering.

What Makes Good Web Content?

Think of a few sites that you like to visit again and again. What makes you keep coming back? Most likely, it's compelling, relevant, and timely content. Quality articles, tutorials, tips, etc. compel the reader to come back again, and again, and maybe even email some of their friends to come too. The sites that are consistently top ranked in the search engine results have these things in common when it comes to content:

  • Interesting,unique content that is well-written.
  • Links that point the searcher to other parts of the site (and more well-written content). Links feed the spiders and compel better search results accordingly.
  • Evergreen as well as updated content. "Evergreen" means that the information will not be outdated a month from now.
In addition, if searchers can find what they're looking for on your site with a minimum of clicks, then you've got a very good chance of making them a return visitor. For instance, if your site is all about chickens, but you choose not to have the word chicken anywhere in your site content, then you are doing a disservice to your readers who are looking for chicken information. This is an extreme example but makes my point: quality Web content must be easy to find, and it must be relevant to what the searcher is looking for.

Scannable Text Is Vital

It's important to keep in mind that Web surfers don't necessarily always "read" your content. Instead, they scan the page, looking for stand-out words and sentences. This means that in order to attract searchers, you must not only write compelling content, but make it scannable. For instance, see these headlines I've got breaking up the article? That's an example of writing scannable text - if you don't want to read this entire article (and of course I hope you will, but this is an example), you can save some time by just scanning the page. Long, unbroken blocks of text tend to turn away visitors, for the very simple fact that they are difficult to read on a computer screen. So, in summary:

How To Write Good Web Content

  • Keywords. You've worked hard on these keywords; make them stand out (bold, different font,headlines, etc.)
  • Clear titles. Make it painfully clear what you are going to talk about. It's fun to be clever and cute, but it can backfire on you. Search engine spiders just aren't attuned to puns, cliches, or out of the ordinary slang terms.
  • Be short and sweet.This is highschool English. Don't cram as many ideas as possible into one paragraph; rather, use that paragraph to focus on only one idea.
  • Sales language. Do you enjoy wading through a bunch of sales language to get to the meat of a story? Well, neither will your readers. Don't inflate your writing with a lot of hot air; keep it down to earth.
These are just general guidelines for writing quality Web content. It's not something that most people can master overnight, so give yourself some time, practice a lot, read a LOT, and always put yourself in your Web site visitor's place to make your site as user-friendly as possible.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.